ACCAN has recently submitted to the five-year independent review of the TIO in a joint submission with Consumer Action Law Centre, Financial Counselling Australia and WEstjustice. Our submission highlighted the vital role that the TIO performs when dealing with consumers’ unresolved phone and internet complaints. We identified areas where the TIO could expand and improve its activities so that it continues to meet the Australian Government’s Benchmarks for Industry-Based Customer Dispute Resolution.

In our joint submission to the review we make a number of recommendations, including that:

  • Awareness of the TIO needs to be increased through wider and more targeted outreach to consumers.
  • The TIO could look at ways to improve the fairness of its processes, and how it engages with consumers experiencing vulnerability.
  • Consumers may need the TIO to help them identify their core complaint and a suitable solution.
  • The TIO should be able to reopen and fast-track complaints for recurrent or unresolved issues.
  • The TIO’s public reporting should continue, and it should be expanded to capture more information.
  • The TIO should follow up on complaints once referred to the telco and the response period has lapsed.
  • The TIO should be able to adapt to a changing communications environment through the expansion of its jurisdiction and Terms of Reference.
  • The TIO’s systemic issues work must continue.
  • The TIO should continue to refer telco non-compliance to the relevant regulator.
  • The TIO’s engagement with the community sector (e.g. through the TIO Consumer Panel) should continue.

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